An incumbent lost his House seat and a former lawmaker is a step closer to returning to the Legislature as the result of Tuesday’s Legislative District 15 House Republican primary.
With all precincts reporting, Rep. Heather Carter ran away with the lead with 41 percent of the vote while John Allen, a former Scottsdale House member from 2003 to 2006, edged out Rep. David Burnell Smith, of Carefree, by 3 percentage points for the second spot.
“We just worked really hard,” Allen said.
He said he spent four to five hours a day for the last five months going door to door.
The race is one of several crowded Republican primaries and pitted political veterans against each other.
The winners will move on to face Democratic challenger Patricia Flickner in the Nov. 6 general election. Republican voters outnumber Democrats by 44 percent to 22 percent in the district, which is located in the northern portion of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Carter, who was first elected in 2010 in the former Legislative District 7, was the best funded of the candidates and was the recipient of several large contributions from independent expenditure groups. Smith has been Carter’s seatmate this Legislature, but he trailed her and Allen in fundraising. Smith, who was forced to resign from the House in 2006 after violating Clean Elections rules, regained his seat in 2010.
Allen’s victory is a comeback of sorts since he finished third in a four-way primary as an incumbent in former District 11 in 2006. His loss then was considered a surprise and he was the only House incumbent to lose a primary.
James Bearup, a public funding candidate, has the fewest votes.